Are some people more susceptible to hypnosis than others?
A common assertion I hear in relation to hypnosis is that “you can’t hypnotise everyone”. Well…yeah…I mean there are exceptions for pretty much everything in the world/every possibility and, even if you can do things it doesn’t always mean that you should.
This blog is focused on the people that can be reasonably hypnotised (e.g. no mental or physical health problems which would make trancing them ill-advised), Of this pool of potentially tranceable people, are some more susceptible than others?
I’ve had many clients come to me after being told they are “bad” subjects by previous hypnotists and it simultaneously angers me and breaks my heart as to my mind 99% of the time the issue lies with a poorly trained hypnotist who lacks experience and wrongly tries to place the blame on the subject.
If the subject is genuine in their desire to experience hypnotic trance (which in my experience most if not all are), then if the subject fails to achieve a trance state then it seems obvious to me that the issue lies with the hypnotist and their skill (or lack thereof), not the subject.
After all, everyone learns in different ways. Common hypnosis induction techniques like progressive relaxation may work well for the majority of people, and some may find it easier initially than others, but it doesn’t automatically follow that those who struggle to trance to common hypnosis inductions are somehow bad subjects. There will be a technique/techniques that are effective for you and allow you to enjoy trance and a good hypnotise will be able to hone in on and leverage those to give you the best possible experience.
Some hypnotists will try and claim that certain kinds of people – commonly analytical people – make poor hypnosis subjects. This is utterly and totally wrong. Analytical people make excellent hypnosis subjects and trance fast and deep once you know what techniques are effective and work with the subjects analytical abilities rather than suppressing them. After all, telling someone to “relax and not think” is like telling someone not to think about a pink elephant. What’s the first thing you think of? Then the subject gets distracted worrying about the fact they’re thinking when they’ve been told they shouldn’t have been thinking and this causes stress and tension. If, instead, you allow the subject to explore and analyse their experience as you guide them, you end up more often than not with a subject who is very quickly very deeply in trance.
You do get people who are naturally able to tap into their innate abilities more easily, but this applies to just about anything. Some people are naturals when it comes to learning to drive. For others it can take a little longer to feel comfortable and get the hang of things. It doesn’t mean such people are bad drivers. It’s simply a reflection of the fact that different people learn in different ways and at different speeds. Becoming upset because you’re not progressing as fast as you feel you “should” be detracts from being able to focus on what you are accomplishing. There is no generic optimum. There is simply what works for you. When you allow yourself to focus your attention on what you’re accomplishing then you are able to improve and build upon your progress rather than sabotage it by focusing on some idea of what you feel “should” be. Invest your energy where it can help you instead of allowing distraction and worry to hinder you.
If you’re unsure about anything then communicate – ask questions. Knowledge is power. A good hypnotist will be able to enlighten you and reassure you. Trance isn’t a race. It’s an exploration. A journey to be appreciated and enjoyed, not one to be rushed through. An opportunity to discover exactly what you are capable of. Embrace that.
Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Please share them below.